close
Connect with us

Health & Fitness

Biden targets diverse groups with vaccine hesitancy for COVID-19 funds – CBS News

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-covid-19-vaccine-hesitancy/

Biden targets diverse groups with vaccine hesitancy for COVID-19 funds - CBS News

The Biden administration has awarded millions of dollars to counter fear and misinformation in communities of color that have indicated they’re concerned about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. Over the past three weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded more than $17 million to several organizations planning vaccine education, according to the Department of Health and Human Services funding database.  

Fifteen organizations advocating for Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native Americans have received funds to boost their COVID-19 vaccine educational outreach. UnidosUS and the National Urban League were awarded the largest grants, of $3.2 million and $2 million dollars, respectively.  

People of color are more likely to contract COVID-19 than White people, and Black, Hispanic and Native Americans are two to three times more likely to require hospitalization, according to CDC data.  

Even with these rates, White Americans are getting vaccinated at a far higher rate than other racial minorities. As of February 22, more than 19 million people were fully vaccinated, 65% of whom are White, according to CDC data. About half the states keep records with demographic information.  

The Biden administration has not commented on the CDC funding for the outreach efforts, but an HHS official confirmed the coordinated outreach. 

Before any COVID-19 vaccines were developed, vaccine hesitancy was most prominent among Black Americans. A Pew Research Center survey from last fall found only 42% planned to be vaccinated, compared to 63% of Hispanic and 61% of White adults. The survey noted Asian Americans who speak English were the most likely to get a vaccine, with 83% saying they would do so.  

Healthcare distrust lingers in communities of color, stemming in part from past medical mistreatment by the federal government. Two of the most grievous abuses took place within the past 50 years: The Tuskegee syphilis study, which targeted Black men for more than 40 years; and the sterilization of thousands of Native American women without their consent by the Indian Health Service in the 1970s.  

The nonprofit arm of the Conference of National Black Churches received $1.56 million to encourage their parishioners to be vaccinated.  

“Black churches have more contact with Black people even during the pandemic than any other organization in the country,” Dr. Jacqui Burton, the conference’s president, said. “Even though we are not in our buildings, we are still worshipping and still providing services.”  

The conference hopes the money will help its efforts to provide vaccinations at its churches, too. 

In the weeks ahead, this will be a “health ministry…that touches people’s lives and puts vaccines in their arms,” said AME Bishop Adam J. Richardson.  

Other organizations are focused on bridging a language gap for trusted information.  

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum is set to use its $1.8 million dollar award to address the “digital divide” in Asian American communities and offer additional simplified vaccination instructions in less broadly spoken but critical languages like Samoan, Marshallese and Chuukese, said CEO Juliet K. Choi.  

Choi also said online messaging about vaccines would be prominent on popular communication platforms like WeChat, WhatsApp, and KaKao.  

Bridging a language barrier is also a priority for the Association of American Indian Physicians, a group that received a $950,000 grant. Because Tribal nations are sovereign, they can choose who to vaccinate. In some places like the Cherokee Nation, vaccinations are prioritized for their language keepers.  

“One of the critical ways to sustain us is to maintain our language and our traditions,” association president Dr. Mary Owen told CBS News. “They know that this is intimately involved in maintaining our health status.”  

If vaccinated from this outreach, individuals may be able to wear another recent CDC purchase from the Immunization Action Coalition: $1 million dollars of buttons and stickers promoting the message “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine.” 

Max Bayer and Alex Tin contributed to this report.  

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Health & Fitness

Essential workers not given vaccine priority asking why not us too? – WCVB Boston

https://www.wcvb.com/article/essential-workers-not-given-vaccine-priority-asking-why-not-us-too/35717415

Essential workers not given vaccine priority asking why not us too? - WCVB Boston

Massachusetts teachers can now circle next Thursday, March 11 on their calendars, marking the day they’ll first become eligible to schedule vaccine appointments.The other groups designated as essential workers — including retailers, grocery store employees, transportation workers and funeral directors — will still have to wait.After President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he wanted every educator, school staffer and child care worker to receive at least one shot by the end of the month, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker moved them up the state’s priority list, saying he wanted to avoid the confusion that could arise from different federal and state eligibility.The move will make about 400,000 people newly eligible, and Baker said it will “mean we’ll be back to having about a million people who are eligible to receive a vaccine” while intense demand for the vaccine continues to hover well above the state’s supply of doses from the federal government.Unions representing grocery store workers and transit workers are among several groups angry the group of workers they represent won’t receive preferential access to the coronavirus vaccine.”Coming to work, putting themselves and family at risk every single day,” Jim Evers, president of Carmen’s Local 589 said. Given the 24 hour shifts for transit workers, special early vaccine access could be the only fast track for them.”This could take months and months for operators to be vaccinated,” Evers said. “Not only is it for the safety of our members, it’s for the safety of the public too.”The MBTA had even prepared its own Quincy vaccination site. “It’s a broken promise,” Evers said. “The governor stated we would have this site in play for our members too.”Prioritizing high-risk populations means prioritizing essential workers, the Stop and Shop union president says. “Talk about Dorchester, talk about Roslindale, talk about Hyde Park, these are places where we have Black and Brown communities, residents that work in our stores,” Fernando Lemos, president of UFCW 1445 says. “It’s a double standard.”

Massachusetts teachers can now circle next Thursday, March 11 on their calendars, marking the day they’ll first become eligible to schedule vaccine appointments.

The other groups designated as essential workers — including retailers, grocery store employees, transportation workers and funeral directors — will still have to wait.

After President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he wanted every educator, school staffer and child care worker to receive at least one shot by the end of the month, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker moved them up the state’s priority list, saying he wanted to avoid the confusion that could arise from different federal and state eligibility.

The move will make about 400,000 people newly eligible, and Baker said it will “mean we’ll be back to having about a million people who are eligible to receive a vaccine” while intense demand for the vaccine continues to hover well above the state’s supply of doses from the federal government.

Unions representing grocery store workers and transit workers are among several groups angry the group of workers they represent won’t receive preferential access to the coronavirus vaccine.

“Coming to work, putting themselves and family at risk every single day,” Jim Evers, president of Carmen’s Local 589 said.

Given the 24 hour shifts for transit workers, special early vaccine access could be the only fast track for them.

“This could take months and months for operators to be vaccinated,” Evers said. “Not only is it for the safety of our members, it’s for the safety of the public too.”

The MBTA had even prepared its own Quincy vaccination site. “It’s a broken promise,” Evers said. “The governor stated we would have this site in play for our members too.”

Prioritizing high-risk populations means prioritizing essential workers, the Stop and Shop union president says.

“Talk about Dorchester, talk about Roslindale, talk about Hyde Park, these are places where we have Black and Brown communities, residents that work in our stores,” Fernando Lemos, president of UFCW 1445 says. “It’s a double standard.”

Continue Reading

Health & Fitness

Virus surge forces Sao Paulo to shut as Buenos Aires reopens – The Associated Press

https://apnews.com/article/brazil-health-south-america-buenos-aires-coronavirus-pandemic-416e4cf93525a16919002c84ed92fcd6

Virus surge forces Sao Paulo to shut as Buenos Aires reopens - The Associated Press

SAO PAULO (AP) — A swell of COVID-19 cases is halting samba steps in Brazil’s biggest metropolis while Argentina’s capital tiptoes its way back to the tango floor.

The two biggest cities in each of the neighboring South American countries are headed in opposite directions, reflecting how those that loosen restrictions despite warnings from scientists see a spike in the pandemic while others that keep social distancing measures in place are able to reopen their economies sooner.

Sao Paulo, home to almost 12 million people, is bracing for the worst two weeks yet in the pandemic and the growing risk that its once-resilient health care system will collapse, Gov. João Doria told reporters Wednesday. More than 75% of the city’s intensive-care beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients and some wards — like those of the private Albert Einstein hospital — are full for the first time.

Doria announced that the entire state, where 46 million people reside, on Saturday will face the highest level of restrictions to arrest the virus’ spread. That means closure of all bars, restaurants, shopping malls and any other establishment deemed non-essential until at least March 19.

Meanwhile, the nearly 3 million residents of Buenos Aires are enjoying an easing of their restrictions, with authorization to attend movie theaters taking effect this week. On Wednesday, official figures showed just 26% of intensive-care beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients. The low hospitalization rate also enabled local authorities in mid-February to reopen bars and restaurants until 2 a.m. — something long sought in a city famous for its all-hours culture.

That means Buenos Aires’ famed steakhouses are reigniting their fires, while counterparts in Sao Paulo extinguish theirs.

Buenos Aires’ casinos also reopened at the end of 2020, and authorities are discussing whether the soccer-crazy city will be able to return to the stadiums soon. In Brazil, despite Bolsonaro’s push to allow fans back, no local authorities are seriously considering opening stadiums. The 48,000-seater NeoQuimica arena on the east side of Sao Paulo is being used as a vaccination post.

Some good news from the Sao Paulo region came on Tuesday, when soccer great Pelé received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The 80-year-old posted the news on his social media channels.

“The pandemic is not over yet. We must keep discipline to preserve lives until many people have taken the vaccine,” the three-time World Cup winner said. “When you go out please don’t forget your mask and maintain social distance.”

His plea is important — even one year after the pandemic began — as Bolsonaro continues to cast doubt on the effectiveness of masks.

The distance between the two nations has seemingly widened during the pandemic, with Bolsonaro and Argentina’s Alberto Fernández adopting opposite tacks in their handling of the crisis. The former downplayed the disease’s risks and has insisted on keeping the economy churning, while the latter has taken a more cautious approach.

Fernández imposed one of the longest quarantines in the world between March and October, despite risks of damaging an economy already in a recession.

Over the past week, Brazil has recorded 35 COVID-19 deaths per million residents, almost triple that of Argentina.

Troubles in Sao Paulo worsened after furtive Carnival celebrations in mid-February. Though street celebrations and parades were canceled, many paulistas, as residents are known, traveled or joined unmasked gatherings. The city declined to allow days off work traditionally allowed during the Carnival period, in a bid to keep people from partying.

Izidoro Silveira, 34, got a job waiting tables at a pizzeria in downtown Sao Paulo two months ago, after almost a full year unemployed. He’s upset about his restaurant’s imminent shutdown.

“Those doing deliveries won’t be hurt, but I and many others will,” a distressed Silveira said as he watched a televised news broadcast about the shutdown. “I don’t know what to tell my wife and my daughter. I’m afraid I’ll lose my job again, even though I work at a place that takes all precautions.”

Not far away, movie theaters on the city’s main drag, Paulista Avenue, are empty, just as they have been since the pandemic first began.

Argentina’s ease doesn’t mean the virus is completely under control. Wednesday’s official figures showed 262 deaths and more than 8,700 new infections in the country. Vaccine rollout is slow. But the overwhelming gloom seen in Sao Paulo seems to be far from Buenos Aires.

With a bag of popcorn in one hand and a soft drink in the other, 8-year-old Bautista Sundblat was eager to enter a movie theater in Buenos Aires’ tony Palermo neighborhood to watch “Bad Boys Forever”.

“He’s very excited,” said his mother, Martina. “We’d been waiting for a long time. There are few seats, everything has been taken care of. He’s a movie fanatic. There’s still a long way to go, but little by little we’re getting where we wanted.”

___ Rey reported from Buenos Aires.

Continue Reading

Health & Fitness

Second Doses Are Priority at Local Vaccination Sites – countynewscenter.com

https://www.countynewscenter.com/second-doses-are-priority-at-local-vaccination-sites/

Second Doses Are Priority at Local Vaccination Sites - countynewscenter.com

Given the ongoing shortage in supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses in the region, local vaccination sites are prioritizing people with second appointments.

Two conflating issues are delaying the release of new appointments for San Diegans who want to get their first dose. One is a shortage of Moderna doses coming into the region to make up for the shipments delayed a few weeks ago by bad weather across the country. The other is that Pfizer doses that have arrived are being used almost exclusively to vaccinate people who are due to receive their second dose of vaccine.

While some first-dose appointments have been released for use by the County and its partners, they are reserved under state guidelines for groups such as law enforcement, teachers and other school personnel.

“Our sites are working diligently to complete the vaccinations of people who are due for their second doses,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health center. “When we get through the Moderna backlog, and more doses arrive, including the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine, first-dose appointments will be released for the many people who are both eligible and eager to get vaccinated.”

Vaccination Progress

Local vaccination sites are currently providing vaccine to San Diegans in Phase 1A and Phase 1B.

To date, nearly 1,070,000 COVID-19 doses have been delivered to the region with close to 946,000 administered. The difference between the two numbers represents approximately what is expected to be administered the next seven days and doses still to be entered in the record system. Nearly 7,400 doses were administered and are pending full documentation.

Those vaccinated to date include nearly 290,000 San Diegans who are fully vaccinated, while more than 22% of San Diegans over age of 16 have received at least one dose, representing nearly 595,000 people.

State Metrics:

  • San Diego County’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is currently 10.8 cases per 100,000 residents (as of March 2) and the region is in Purple Tier or Tier 1.
  • The testing positivity percentage is 4.2%, placing the County in Tier 3 or the Orange Tier. While the testing positivity rate for the County qualifies it for Tier 3, the state uses the most restrictive metric – in this case the adjusted case rate – and assigns counties to that tier. Therefore, the County remains in the Purple Tier or Tier 1.
  • The County’s health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the lowest healthy conditions, is 6% and is in the Red Tier or Tier 2. This metric does not move counties to more restrictive tiers but is required to advance to a less restrictive tier.
  • The California Department of Public Health assesses counties on a weekly basis. The next report is scheduled for Tuesday, March. 9.

Community Setting Outbreaks:

  • 11 new community outbreaks were confirmed March 2: three in a grocery setting, two in a retail setting, two in a business setting, two in a faith-based setting, one in a restaurant/bar setting and one in a food/beverage processing setting.
  • In the past seven days (Feb. 24 through March 2), 30 community outbreaks were confirmed.
  • The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.
  • A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

Testing:

  • 13,293 tests were reported to the County on March 2, and the percentage of new positive cases was 3%.
  • The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 3.7%. Target is less than 8.0%.
  • The 7-day, daily average of tests is 13,099.

Cases, Hospitalizations and ICU Admissions:

  • 352 cases were reported to the County on March 2. The region’s total is now 261,353.
  • 13,179 or 5% of all cases have required hospitalization.
  • 1,599 or 0.6% of all cases and 12.1% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Deaths:

  • 25 new COVID-19 deaths were reported March 2. The region’s total is 3,342.
  • 16 men and nine women died between Dec. 20 and March 2.
  • Of the 25 deaths reported March 2, two people who died were 80 years or older, three were in their 70s, 11 were in their 60s, seven were in their 50s and two in their 40s.
  • 21 had underlying medical conditions, two did not and two had medical history pending.

More Information:

The more detailed data summaries found on the County’s coronavirus-sd.com website are updated around 5 p.m. daily.

 

Continue Reading

Health & Fitness

Pennsylvania State Troopers Association voices frustration that troopers haven’t been prioritized for vaccination – WGAL Susquehanna Valley Pa.

https://www.wgal.com/article/pennsylvania-state-troopers-association-voices-frustration-that-troopers-havent-been-prioritized-for-vaccination/35716401

Pennsylvania State Troopers Association voices frustration that troopers haven’t been prioritized for vaccination - WGAL Susquehanna Valley Pa.

ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH. IN HARRISBURG, TOM LEHMAN, WGAL NEWS 8 DANIELLE: THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE TROOPERS ASSOCIATION, OR PSTA, VOICED ITS FRUSTRATION AFTER THE WOLF ADMINISTRATION REFUSED TO PRIORITIZE THE COVID VACCINE FOR TROOPERS. THE PSTA SAYS MORE THAN 700 OF ITS TROOPERS HAVE BEEN INFECTED SO FAR. IT EXPLAINED IN A STATEMENT AN OUTBREAK COULD CRIPPLE OUR DEPARTMENT. PUBLIC SAFETY SHOULD B

Pennsylvania State Troopers Association voices frustration that troopers haven’t been prioritized for vaccination

WGAL News 8 coronavirus coverage

The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association expressed frustration that the COVID-19 vaccination of troopers is not being prioritized.PSTA President David Kennedy issued a statement Wednesday after the Wolf administration moved teachers to the front of the line for the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine.“There are only 4,300 state troopers in Pennsylvania, but they are responsible for patrolling over 85% of our commonwealth,” Kennedy said. “Thus far, over 700 troopers have been infected with nearly 1,000 department employees, overall. An outbreak could cripple our department. Public safety should be a priority right now. The PSTA renews our call for the administration to vaccinate first responders so they can focus on doing their jobs.”

The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association expressed frustration that the COVID-19 vaccination of troopers is not being prioritized.

PSTA President David Kennedy issued a statement Wednesday after the Wolf administration moved teachers to the front of the line for the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“There are only 4,300 state troopers in Pennsylvania, but they are responsible for patrolling over 85% of our commonwealth,” Kennedy said. “Thus far, over 700 troopers have been infected with nearly 1,000 department employees, overall. An outbreak could cripple our department. Public safety should be a priority right now. The PSTA renews our call for the administration to vaccinate first responders so they can focus on doing their jobs.”

Continue Reading

Health & Fitness

Stark link between obesity and Covid deaths revealed – Financial Times

https://www.ft.com/content/7db2b641-c831-4876-ba0c-0f815a42c8f0

Stark link between obesity and Covid deaths revealed - Financial Times

Sorry, Readability was unable to parse this page for content.

Continue Reading

Trending